In the aftermath of the troubled 2007 elections, NIMD’s Kenyan partner, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-K) played a visible and constructive role in fostering a multi-actor dialogue. The centre brings together political and civil society around a democratic reform agenda, and is currenlty working to build consensus for constitutional reforms.
Kenya’s constitutional and legal framework improved
The Kofi Annan peace deal, brokered in the wake of the election violence, has provided a guiding framework for political reform in Kenya. CMD-Kenya successfully facilitated platforms for political parties and civil society organisations, which resulted in a broadened support base for the proposed reforms, including a new Political Parties Act (PPA)
Transparency and accountability of political parties improved
To prepare political parties for compliance with the new Political Parties Act (PPA), CMD-Kenya has facilitated workshops to discuss the implications of the act with member parties. Also CMD-Kenya developed a model party constitution, which provides essential features and best practices for parties to bear in mind when revising their constitution to comply with the PPA.
While these activities have helped most parties to register in a timely fashion, some hurdles remain for the effective implementation of the PPA. The disbandment of the Electoral Commission in 2009 has left the Registrar of Political Parties without an institutional backbone, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal is yet to be constituted, and no provisions have been made by the Minister of Finance to release funding to political parties. In the coming period, CMD-Kenya will keep a close eye on these developments – and where possible lobby stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the PPA.
Peace and reconciliation process enhanced
Supported by CMD-Kenya, women across the political divide have developed joint initiatives to enhance peace and reconciliation and to voice their concerns with regard to the postelection crisis and the Annan-brokered reform agenda. These initiatives feed into one of CMD-Kenya’s core objectives: to enhance inclusivity in Kenyan politics. During the post election crisis that gripped the country CMD-Kenya organized a national meeting that brought together 300 women from across the country - including politicians representing a broad spectrum of political parties, professionals and representatives of women organizations - with a view to galvanize their energy towards peace and reconciliation.
Dialogue between faith groups and politicians enhanced, peace and reconciliation process enhanced
In 2008 CMD-Kenya has established an ecumenical platform that brings together spiritual leaders from Rift Valley and Mount Kenya, arguably the two most hostile communities involved in the post election violence. In 2009 CMD-Kenya hopes to build on this platform to enhance engagement of Kenyan faith groups around the reform agenda.